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Steve Kerr credits Phil Jackson for his playing time philosophy

Steve Kerr

The Golden State Warriors are known as one of the deeper teams in the league, with head coach Steve Kerr not shy about playing 10-12 guys at any given game. Part of it is because he has some really good players at his disposal.

However, Kerr also explained that there’s another reason for his philosophy of playing his guys at least semi-consistently. That philosophy stems from his own experiences as a player, particularly during his time with the Chicago Bulls playing for Phil Jackson.

“But the other thing is my own background as a bench player. I was on some teams where I didn’t play for three weeks. I didn’t even feel like I was part of the team. I learned a lot from Phil Jackson in that regard. Phil rarely let a guy sit for longer than a week or so… Phil was a genius with that, in terms of keeping guys engaged and motivated. There’s a real power, I think, in playing a lot of people because everybody just feels more a part of it and more engaged.”

It’s easy to forget because of his checkered time as an executive, but there’s a reason Phil Jackson is widely considered as one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. Having all-time great players helped, but other factors like making end-of-the-bench scrubs still feel part of the team also played their part in winning those championships.

Jackson certainly made his mark on Steve Kerr, who has taken those lessons he learned from the “Zen Master” and successfully incorporated them into his incredibly deep and dominant Warriors championship teams.